17 Best Road Trips From Cleveland, Ohio

road trips from cleveland
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Cleveland is a charming city and the second-largest town in the state of Ohio. It’s a metropolitan offering a unique range of art, culture, and history. From world-class restaurants with likes of the Marble Room Steaks and Raw Bar to popular attractions such as the Cleveland Clinic, this city has a lot to offer than meets the eye. For history and art fanatics, the Cleveland Museum of National History offers the perfect touring zone. Here is where you go to enjoy quality time with family watching full-size exhibits brought back to life. For music lovers, particularly those who love Rock n’ Roll, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will feel like holy grounds. This downtown Cleveland museum has archives of the history of rock music, and other notable features who influenced the music. There are also plenty of amazing Airbnb vacation rentals if you don’t know where to stay here. Enough about the city - scroll down to find a list of the best road trips from Cleveland, Ohio.

1. Amish Country, OH

Ohio's Amish Country
Source: Photo by Flickr user Pat (Cletch) Will... used under CC BY 2.0

Embarking on a weekend trip from Cleveland to Amish Country, located about 75 miles (120.70 kilometers) away, offers a captivating escape into a world of simplicity, culture, and rich heritage. Amish Country provides a unique blend of timeless traditions and scenic beauty, allowing travelers to immerse themselves in a slower pace of life.

As you explore the charming towns and countryside, you’ll encounter horse-drawn buggies, handcrafted goods, and delicious homemade treats. Delight in visiting local artisans, traditional Amish farms, and quilt shops that showcase intricate craftsmanship. A visit to Lehman’s, a store filled with non-electric products, offers a glimpse into self-sufficient living.

The Amish and Mennonite Heritage Center provides insights into their history and way of life. Don’t miss indulging in hearty Amish cuisine at local restaurants or enjoying picturesque drives through rolling hills and farmlands. Amish Country is a journey back in time, allowing you to disconnect from modern life and appreciate the beauty of a simpler existence.

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2. Allegheny National Forest, PA

Jakes Rocks - Allegheny National Forest - Pennsylvania
Source: Photo by Flickr user Doug Kerr used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Enjoy a drivable vacation from Cleveland, Ohio, to the majestic Allegheny National Forest in Pennsylvania. It is situated about 150 miles (241.40 kilometers) from Cleveland and promises an exhilarating journey into a realm of natural wonder and outdoor adventure. The moderate distance makes it an ideal weekend escape, offering a scenic drive through changing landscapes. The national forest welcomes you with its sprawling expanse of pristine woodlands, clear streams, and diverse wildlife. The forest beckons outdoor enthusiasts with an array of activities such as hiking, camping, fishing, and boating.

The Kinzua Sky Walk offers breathtaking views of the Kinzua Gorge and the Kinzua Bridge, a testament to the engineering marvels of the past. Make sure to also explore Rimrock and Minister Creek Trails for stunning vistas and serene forest walks. The Allegheny Reservoir is a hub for water-based fun, while the Longhouse Scenic Byway promises a picturesque drive.

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3. Grand Rapids, MI

Gillett Bridge at ArtPrize 7, Grand Rapids, MI
Source: Photo by Flickr user Joe Ross used under CC BY-SA 2.0

There are numerous things Cleveland is famous for, but it also is a great base for exploring nearby destinations that are full of touristy spots. Traveling to Grand Rapids on a road trip within six hours of Cleveland, Ohio, promises a lot of fun. If you are heading over to Michigan, make sure to stop by one of its biggest cities, Grand Rapids, which is 300 miles (482 kilometers) away and takes about 4.5 hours by car. It’s home to the Gerald R. Ford Museum where the former President and his First Lady are buried. If you’re an enthusiast of arts and culture, the city houses quite a few museums that are worth checking out: Van Andel Museum Center and Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium. Some other places you must visit in Grand Rapids are Frederik Meijer Gardens Sculpture Park and Wealthy Theatre.

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4. Indianapolis, IN

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user tpsdave used under CC0

A solo traveler will find many unique things to do alone when visiting Cleveland. One of them is a road trip to Indianapolis. About five hours southwest of Cleveland is the state capital of Indiana—Indianapolis. Colloquially known as Indy, the city is home to various prominent institutions like the Indianapolis Museum of Art, which was established in 1883 and is one of the biggest encyclopedic art museums in the States. If you’re a fan of the performing arts, you’ll certainly keep busy in the city with venues like Indiana Theatre, Hilbert Circle Theatre, and Madam Walker Legacy Center. The drive to Indy sure is worth it!

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5. Pittsburgh, PA

Source: Photo by Flickr user Richard Freeman used under CC BY 2.0

If you like the convenience of a shorter road trip but would still appreciate a change of environment, head down to Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania which is a little over two hours of a road trip from Cleveland. With its rich arts and culture scene, it’s not hard to find exciting things to do here. Pittsburgh is home to Heinz Hall for Performing Arts and Benedum Center, as well as Andy Warhol Museum and Carnegie Museum of Art. If you’re a sports fan, you’ll find the city to your liking, too. It is the home of NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers and MLB’s Pittsburgh Pirates.

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6. Hocking Hills State Park

Old Man's Cave, Upper Falls
Source: Photo by Flickr user See1,Do1,Teach1 used under CC BY 2.0

When you need to decompress for a moment and get away from the bustle of Cleveland, go on a nature trip and drive down to Hocking Hills State Park which is 3 hours away with a distance of 197 miles (317 kilometers). This state park is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise with its 25 miles (40 kilometers) of rock formations, hiking trails, caves, and waterfalls. Some of the best areas that you must visit at the park are Old Man’s Cave, Cedar Falls, and nature preserve Conkle’s Hollow. The park is tourist-friendly and houses around 200 campgrounds, most of which have electricity.

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7. Butler County, PA

Hot air balloons
Source: Photo by Flickr user Rona Proudfoot used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Another short road trip from Cleveland is Butler County in Pennsylvania. The drive takes over two hours, with a distance of 139 miles (223 kilometers). We’ve included this region on our list for its quiet charm and tight-knit community. For families traveling here, Cheeseman Farm, Alameda Park, and Big Butler Parts A Rama are worth the visit. If you’re keen on doing a nature trip, Connoquenessing Creek, Glade Dam Lake, and Lake Oneida welcome you with their scenic views and exciting outdoor activities. Experience the small-town vibe of Butler County and make it your next out-of-town destination!

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8. Baltimore, MD

Source: Photo by Flickr user Elvert Barnes used under CC BY 2.0

It is no easy task having your behind glued to the seat for almost 6 hours. That is approximately how long it takes traveling from Cleveland, OH to Baltimore, MD. The 6-hour drive from Cleveland sure is worth it, though. While on transit covering the 374-mile (606 kilometers) distance, you will not miss exploring major attractions such as the scenic Longwood Gardens, Valley Forge, The Wild, and Gettysburg. Stopping at any one of these attractions is inevitable. That being said, what is the fun of road trips if you don’t get stop ones in a while for some fun, Right?

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9. Washington D.C.

Washington DC
Source: Pixabay

Ready for a driving trip from Cleveland? It takes a 6-hour drive by car to cover the 368-mile (592 kilometers) trip from Cleveland to Washington, D.C. But if you intend to enjoy yourself more, expect some stop here and there. If you start your trip early enough, you will have more than enough time to take a short tour of the Andy Warhol Museum or the Carnegie Museum of National History both attractions located in Pittsburgh. Upon arrival even before checking-in to your accommodation, the first and most obvious place you would want to visit would be the United States Capitol, the Lincoln Memorial, and the iconic Washington Monument.

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10. Ferris Lake Wild Forest

Planning a driving vacation from Cleveland? Prepare to embark on a 6 hour and 30 minutes’ trip sightseeing and enjoying the mystifying scenery while on a 416.5-mile (670.3 kilometers) road trip to Ferris Lake Wild Forest. This pristine road trip destination is a park located in New York. It features over 100 miles (160.9 kilometers) of trails and recreational spots. Among the best sites to explore in this destination include, the Nine Corner Lake, Mud Pond, Ferris Lake, and the Silver Lake Wilderness. These are also the best hiking and camping sites in the area.

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11. Green Mountain National Forest

Green Mountain National Forest
Source: Photo by user Rich Moffitt used under CC BY 2.0

If you are looking for an idea of the perfect destination for an existing road trip, Green Mountain National Forest is a not-so-common resort but is the perfect place for skiing. It sure is one of the best places to drive from Cleveland. With likes of Sugarbush Resort, Stratton Mountain Resort, and Hildene-The Lincoln Family Home, this ski resort destination offers a unique opportunity for those seeking fun and a tranquil spot.

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12. Boston, MA

Copley Sqare, Boston MA
Source: Photo by Flickr user Eric Friedebach used under CC BY 2.0

For this road trip, you have to prepare for a few pit stops as it is a journey close to 10 hours. That is how long you will have to travel from Cleveland on a road trip to Boston, MA. Though your journey will be long and tiresome, it will be filled with fun and amazing places to tour on your way. As you depart the city, your journey will take you through, Erie, Dunkirk Rochester in New York, Old Sturbridge Village before arriving at your destination in Boston. As much as the road has many attractions and affairs, Boston also has its share of amazing things to do to keep you and your lot happy, entertained and distracted for hours.

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13. Hartford, CT

Memorial Arch - Hartford, CT
Source: Photo by Flickr user ricky shore used under CC BY 2.0

Hartford is not just a regular city in Connecticut. It is a place of beauty, culture, and fun. If this vibrant city is your destination, you have prepared to tack the 564-mile (908 kilometers) distance challenge. While in Hartford, tap into the history of the city at the Mark Twain House and Museum or tour the Connecticut Science Center, a short driving dance within the city. It takes nine hours to travel to Boston, this can be a full-day road trip or be split into a two-day road trip. It is definitely a perfect bonding opportunity for friends and family.

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14. New York City, NY

New York City, March 2012
Source: Photo by Flickr user Robert Nyman used under CC BY 2.0

A trip to the “Big App” is always a cause for excitement. Even after knowing it will take around 7 hours and 30 minutes covering the 462.7-mile (744.6 kilometers) journey your excitement shall not waiver. New York City offers an abundance of exciting things to do and places to visit. One of the best places to start our adventure is Times Square. This commercial intersection is a popular entertainment center and a tourist site. If you have had enough of the buzzing city, a tranquil picnic at Central Park and the scenic views from the iconic Empire State Building will be worth your trip.

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15. Philadelphia, PA

Source: Photo by Flickr user Sam used under CC BY 2.0

If you are traveling by car, you will have to part with 7 hours of your time covering the 431.8 miles (694 kilometers) distance to Philadelphia, PA. As you embark on this long road trip, nature roads and builds are not the only things you are going to see. Your journey will take you through Philadelphia where you can make a short stop to marvel at the iconic Liberty Bell, Independence National Historical Park or Philadelphia Museum of Art, a popular art museum showcasing classic artworks.

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16. Ocean City, NJ

Ocean City Boardwalk
Source: Photo by Flickr user LabyrinthX used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Looking to spend a day or two away from home with family or your friends? Ocean City in New Jersey is a good destination that can easily yank you out of the busy city life. Ocean City is known for its strings of beaches, amusement parks, a lively boardwalk with amazing restaurants, eateries, and shops. Yes, Ocean City sounds like an ideal spot to hide from the demanding city life, if you are traveling by car, you have to be willing to journey the 496.6-mile (799.2 kilometers) distance from Cleveland city to this outstanding destination.

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17. Charlottesville, VA

University of Virginia
Source: Photo by Flickr user Rex Hammock used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Approximately 7 hours and 30 minutes, that is how long this road trip will take you if you to get to Charlottesville, VA. The journey to your destination will be a long one but full of exciting stops, outstanding scenery and interesting try out spots as you pass through Pittsburgh. When in the city of Charlottesville, places like Charlottesville Downtown Visitors Center will be the first site to welcome you to the city before you head to Downtown Wall to enjoy some shopping.

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Embark on the best road trips from Cleveland

If you don’t suffer from motion sickness and you are rather an adventurous soul, then mentioning anything related to road trips will always excite you. Maybe you’ve exhausted all the things to do in Cleveland and you want to go on a road trip but you’re stuck on where to go. It’s a good thing that Cleveland, Ohio is packed with romantic places and hotels with pools - you can start your vacation here and make it your base before you embark on any of these amazing road trip destinations that lead you to places within six hours of Cleveland.

Frequently asked questions about road trips from Cleveland

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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A seasoned travel journalist, Thomson Joe is a free spirit with a fiery need for discovery and exploration of new attractions, culture, and heritage. With a passion for travel writing that can be...Read more

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